What happens when you quit your full-time job and start running a DIY empire while being a stay at home dad too? Well I’m about to find out…but more so because I’m taking the month of September off for paternity leave and definitely not leaving my day job (insurance is hella expensive guys). So time to fire up my laptop and bask in the sawdust for all my free-time while my wife goes back to work right? How hard can this be with help from my 4 year old daughter and our new intern Teddy? In true form I decided to kick this early retirement off after a long weekend and test drive this new life out starting on a Tuesday. Should be easy right?
Have A Plan
Right off the bat I knew one thing I wanted to do was get up early to work on this dad bod and start running in the morning. I get up by 6 am everyday with or without an alarm so it’s a perfect time to get up and go for a run before everyone wakes up (plus it won’t be ungodly hot). Day one… I wake up at 5:45am… roll over for a minute and then… go back to sleep for another 40 minutes. Whelp no run. Instead, I go downstairs, make some coffee, work on my website and then grab my first real shower in a few days… don’t judge.
By 7 am I fixed a problem on my website that’s been causing issues for a good part of a month and then worked on the social media feed I run for another company. Not a bad start for day 1, this is going to be okay! Then Intern Teddy wakes up and comes down with mom and then the Head of Marketing, Tilly wakes up…
Stick To The Plan
At this point I’ve taken a break from my regularly scheduled blogging duties and made sure all the staff is fed. Mom heads off to work for the first time since Intern Teddy arrived and I’m on my own. Don’t worry, Marketing Director Tilly and I have matured together with a lot of daddy/daughter time in her four years of employment/life so I’m not helpless with the younger staff Plus, Tilly is really good at doing work assignments on her own so she does a great job of playing with Lego blocks or coloring for a while. Meanwhile, Intern Teddy and I get to work on our design plans for an upcoming project and things are rolling. But then…
Marketing decides it’s time to do an analysis on Twinkle Clay whatever the hell that is. So we head to our R&D department and give it a go. This sh*t sticks to everything. It’s the love child of silly putty and Play-doh mixed with super glue. After an emergency clean up we declare it wasn’t a product we wanted to feature on the website. We’re going to run the Makita sub-compact saw review instead. I put on some Classic Rock to get the staff motivated, throw down some construction paper and magic markers and brew my second cup of coffee… everything is going to be alright.
To Hell With The Plan
The Marketing Department is all the sudden needing lots of direction and isn’t demonstrating that independence we previously hired them for. We try several different activities to get the team rolling, but nothing seems to stick. We’ve tried going for a walk, dancing, coloring, building with blocks, snack time and more. Meanwhile, Intern Teddy pooped his pants. The plan is out the window. I can’t even find my laptop. It feels like hours have gone by and… OH MY GOD IT’S ONLY 9:35 am!!!
Make A Realistic Plan
So day one didn’t go how I thought it would. By day three I still hadn’t gotten to go for a run, but I was starting to master the art of holding a baby on my lap and balance my computer on a boppy for multi-tasking. Trying to type with an infant snuggled up on you is not easy. I love my staff, but I do look forward to when mom comes home and everyone is down for an afternoon nap. Then I get to head out to the shop for a few hours before it’s time to start thinking about dinner.
Before we hired Intern Teddy, I was counting down the years before our Marketing Director Tilly headed off to Kindergarten. I thought I’d drop her off in the morning, work for a few hours in my shop or on the computer, hit the gym at lunch, go back to work and then pick her up at the end of the day. That business plan gets pushed back a few more years but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. At this point it’s all about time management, compromise and lots of caffeine.
I’ve found that I’m way more efficient when I’m working my full-time job, running this website and playing dad. My day is more structured and time is a commodity that there’s never enough of. I’m not going to go crazy and start scheduling out my daily calendar in 15 minute increments, but I am going to plan ahead and be prepared to be derailed. We all joke about mommy bloggers, but honestly, I’m not sure how they do it. I know how much time is spent blogging, running social media, pinning on Pinterest and still creating new content while managing (yes managing) a family. No wonder they let loose at conferences. I’m a week in and I drafted my fantasy football team while drinking Chardonnay out of a paper cup just to make me feel better. We do what we have to do for the people and things we love… even when your running back your drafted goes down with an ACL tear in the preseason.
Don’t worry, there are still plenty of new power tool reviews and woodworking projects happening. Sometimes you’ve just got to put that test drive through the best and worst case scenarios to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
~ Lazy Guy